Tips for a better headshot

Getting a great headshot is very important for your business. It’s how prospective clients will identify you and decide, sometimes without a meeting, that they want to work with you.

General Tips

  • Tell us your expectations and intentions. Let us know what kind of look you want
  • Tell us how and where the photo will be used (so we can be sure it’s appropriate)
  • Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark cirlces)
  • Your skin might not look it’s best after drug/alcohol use. Try to abstain from these before your shoot
  • Arrive on time. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes early (we may have other clients scheduled before you)
  • Please call if you are running late or arrive early

Practice your pose

I will help guide you with your posing. But the number one question or request I get is, “Can you make me look slimmer?”
A big part of how defined your face looks is your jawline. There are some simple things you can do to make it look slim. I’ll help guide you, but take a look at these two examples. Our natural reaction when we smile is to pull our chin back, what we really want to do is to extend our chin to stretch our our neck, so we don’t have the scrunched up chin look as seen here.


Clothing is the most important factor in your headshot, but it is definitely not the focus.
With proper clothing, your face commands attention and clothing itself becomes secondary.
Wearing the wrong clothing takes attention away from where you want it – on you and on your face.

  • Dress in the fashion which you feel best represents both you and your company.
  • For a formal business portrait, dress as you would if you were making a presentation
    to your most important clients or associates.
  • For a more casual portrait, you still want to wear something that looks upscale and smart. Perhaps a blazer,
    a sweater over a button-down shirt or a blouse.

Men should wear a solid dark suit, a pressed and well-fitting white or light colored shirt, and a dark tie.

Women should wear a solid suit and a light blouse. Wear something that looks good from the waist up.
Try to pick something that falls well on your shoulders and flatters your neckline.

  • Darker shades are more flattering and slimming, but remember – black is not always the best color.
    Try navy, dark-gray, chocolate, forest green, deep teal, eggplant or a rich caramel.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid wearing bold stripes, plaids, checks, dots and prints, they are confusing and do not photograph well.
    Patterns are fine, as long as they’re not too distracting.
  • Avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white, and yellow.
  • Avoid solid black which will photograph flat, and lack detail and dimension.
  • Avoid turtlenecks (unless you’re Steve Jobs and they crowd the face)
  • You might consider avoiding red.
  • Do not wear short sleeves for a head-and-shoulders portrait.
  • Loud ties and flashy jewelry divert attention from your face. Stick with simple and elegant.

Hair and makeup for women

  • If you are doing your own makeup, apply as you might for a formal evening out.
  • If you “never wear makeup” you might want to at least use some for your photo session.
  • If you are doing your own hair, remember to bring some hair product (if you use it,)
    a hair brush or comb and a blow dryer to the session.
  • See below for an example of how to do or not do your make-up: you want make-up to merely smooth out your skin and enhance your features- drawing attention to your features as your features, not your features as brightly colored with too much lipstick or eye shadow.

Grooming for Men

  • Grooming usually means just a little powder to cut down the shine and tidying up your hair.
  • Shave early in the day to let any razor-burn dissipate and allow nicks to heal before the shoot.
  • For a late-day portrait session, if you have a heavy beard, a touch-up shave at mid-day is recommended,
    especially to mitigate five-o’clock shadow.
  • Don’t cut your hair the day before your shoot! It will look like you just got a haircut.

How often should I update my headshot?

You should get a new headshot whenever your appearance changes substantially. It is important that your headshot looks like you on your best day. If you change hairstyles, gain or lose weight, or feel you’re looking more mature, it is probably time to update your headshot.

Even if nothing noticeable changes, it can also be a good idea to update your headshot regularly, perhaps every year or two, just to keep it fresh and in style. A great headshot should feel timeless, but hair and clothing styles do change.


Professional Headshot

Book a 45 minute session and get 40 high-resolution digital images with basic retouching. Up to 3 fully retouched images with 3 outfit changes.

See my Portfolio